The company warned on Monday afternoon that Imperial Cinema would have to cease operations by the end of January unless it receives further government aid.
The not-for-profit Center Cinema Imperial has been undertaking a renovation and refurbishment project since 2017 to upgrade and modernize its facilities and ensure its sustainability.
Now that his project is suffering from inadequate federal funding, “Without this adequate federal funding, the theater will have to close,” Benoît Clermont, on behalf of the board of directors of Center Cinema Imperiale, pointed out in an interview with the QMI agency on Monday.
“Since 2017, we have applied for grants in Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa. Discussions are going well in Quebec, with $5.6 million available. “In the city of Montreal, the discussions are also going well, while the central government’s affairs have been blocked for years, and our demands have not been met,” said Mr. Clermont added.
The funding requested from Ottawa for the revitalization project is equal to the province’s $5.6 million. Imperial Cinema will allow the implementation of a vast restoration project to restore the building’s traditional elements on the one hand, and to expand its business and accommodate all artistic disciplines on the other.
“Right now we’ve got $500,000 a year from the federal government for two years, so $1 million over two years is way below the expectations and needs for this room,” said Mr. Clermont underlined.
“We are at a crossroads. The operation of the chamber must regain its protected traditional character, otherwise the partners will tire of paying the amounts, for their part,” he continued, stressing that Quebecor has been one of these important partners since 2017. The private corporation contributed $8.5 to the hall. million in strategic, financial and philanthropic support.
Restructuring and Restructuring Project
The work that Imperial Cinema intends to undertake is considered necessary to bring the infrastructure up to standard, both in terms of safety and the need for technical equipment.
The Montreal company must modernize the venues and services offered to meet the needs of the industry, particularly by increasing the number of seats, providing state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment and improving the customer experience.
“The advantage of the Imperial is that it’s in the Quarter des Spectacles. It’s already well established in Montreal’s cultural community. […] Traffic doesn’t worry us, but we want to have a room that stands up,” continued Benoît Clermont, hoping the room will continue to thrive once the work is done.
Note that the heritage institution has hosted cultural events such as Presence Autochthon, New Cinema Festival, Cinemania and Montreal International Documentary Conferences.
In the last five years, at least six famous venues have closed their doors, including 2 Pierrots, La Maison du Jazz (House of Jazz), Les Katacombes and Le Divan Orange.
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